This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


The force of these reduplications is as follows:—

1. Continuance, prolongation of the act: pupute, 'keep on sitting.' The reduplicated syllable may be repeated as often as the idea requires.

2. Intensification.—The force of the word is magnified, the notion is more forcibly expressed: putpute, 'to sit closely down, to squat;' siksike, 'to seek earnestly.' This form of reduplication is that which most naturally applies to adjectives, substantives and adverbs: manmantagai 'very small;' Gate panpanei! 'Oh, what hands! what big hands!' manmantag, 'very well indeed.'[1]

Though the first close syllable is taken (a consonant being taken from the next syllable very often to close it as putpute, from pu te), yet when no consonant is at hand for the purpose, or only r, two syllables are taken, or made by adding e. Thus, liwoa, 'great,' liwoliwoa; purei, 'unskilled,' purepurei.

3. Repetition.—The act done over and over again: putepute, to sit, get up, and sit again, and so on.

There are of course some words, as monosyllables, to which these rules do not exactly apply. In them, as indeed in all, the intonation of the voice does much to signify the notion conveyed to the reduplication.


There are two dialects in Mota, with a few words of the vocabulary quite distinct, as na and ge for 'do,' un and ima for 'drink.' The difference chiefly lies in the preference for u in one, and i in the other, as titin, 'hot,' or tutun. The Veverau or leeward side of the island, use the u, and pronounce g at the end of word as

  1. This form of reduplication is continually used to signify number: pispisui, ran̈ran̈oi, 'fingers,' 'legs.' There are many words also which, probably for euphony, do not take any other form of reduplication than this: ronronotag, valvalui, 'hear;' 'answer.'